Not only is the Labasa Sugar Mill at fault in the way the Qawa River continues to be polluted and the life for those who live nearby degraded, but all the mills seem to be in trouble. This is a shameful situation. The farmers work their guts out in producing the cane, at little profit, and then the mills break down, are in disrepair, and can't even fulfill their obligations for sales. Wake up, have some pride, get things better.
From Fiji Village this evening:
Mill upgrade program failed to deliver
Publish date/time: 20/10/2010 [17:10]
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The major sugar mill upgrade that started prior to 2006 through the $86 million loan from the EXIM Bank of India has not delivered the desired results, and has caused a number of major problems.
It was termed as a saviour of the sugar industry in 2004 with high hopes that the major cash input would assist the industry to bounce back.
Now it has been confirmed that some of the equipment purchased through this multi-million dollar loan are not working and the Indian experts who came to work on the upgrade also at times did not carry out the work as expected.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said this issue has been discussed with the Fiji Sugar Corporation during a presentation by FSC Acting CEO John Prasad last week.
We asked Commodore Bainimarama what can be done now that the $86 million has been spent and the experts who were supposed to upgrade the mills to modern standards have left.
He said they have now established that there was no proper legal input when these upgrade contracts were drawn up prior to 2006.
Although many people have been talking about the $86 million mill upgrade, the reality on the ground is that one of the mills that the Prime Minister visited last week looks like a junkyard.
According to him, there are a lot of breakdowns at the Lautoka Mill. He said everything is leaking around and some new machines installed by the Indian company have not worked from when they were put in.
Story by: Vijay Narayan